Description: 80 feet; stone octagonal tower four feet thick
at the base, made of brown stone, iron staircase, four windows on the south
side of the tower; light originally exhibited white flashes but this was
changed to a fixed white light to avoid confusion with the Execution Rocks
light; keeper's house was colonial style, made of brick, 2 1/2 stories tall.
1790: Samuel L. Mitchell and
Samuel Wood survey the site.
1805: While aboard the the Revenue
Cutter Active, commanded by Captain Caleb Brewster, Dr. Mitchell
discussed the idea of having a light at the point and sent petitions around
the ship. These petitions were then forwarded to Congress.
1806, January 26: Bill enacted by
Congress to erect a light on Sands Point.
1806: Five acres bought by
Governor Tompkins for the light from Benjamin Hewlett. Cost reported to be
1809: Tower completed. Reports as
to the actual contractor vary. Some say it was Noah Mason; others say A.
Woodward. The truth may be that Mason built the tower and Woodward outfitted
the tower with the lantern room and lighting apparatus.
1809, September 11: Noah Mason, a
sea captain and Revolutionary War veteran from New London, became the first
keeper and served as such until his death in 1841.
1814, September 10: Keeper Noah
Mason watched a (War of 1812) naval battle between the British frigate
Acosta and thirty American gunboats from the tower.
1841, February 27: Noah Mason dies
at age 85.
1868: Keeper's house added.
1904, September 10: The Port
Washington News reports that, "Light Keeper (Cornelius) Douglass
recently visited Captain R. O. McKensie, Inspector Light House District at
1916: Keeper Douglas dies at age
70 after having served as keeper for 22 years.
1922, June 14: Due to complaints
from the Belmonts, across whose property visitors to the light had to cross,
Keeper Thomas J. Murray received official notice from the 3rd District
Superintendent of Lighthouses that he is no longer allowed to have visitors
at the station on Sundays or holidays. This included "all visitors, whether
they be personal friends of yourself or family or otherwise."
1922, December: Deactivated. Light
and lantern room removed from tower (current lantern is a replica of
1923, April 25: Letter from
Governor Alfred E. Smith to the Department of Commerce gets auction of light
and surrounding property postponed from May 2nd to November 2nd. Governor
Smith had hoped to acquire the land as a park.
1924, February 1: Port
Washington News reports that property bought at auction by Mrs. Oliver
H. P. Belmont for $100,000.
1927: Bought by William Randolph
Hearst for $400,000.
1940: Title transferred to Dime
Savings Bank to pay off mortgage.
1943: Purchased by Edmund G.
1992, October 27: Village of Sands
Point and the Landmarks Commission designated the lighthouse as a village
Inactive. Located on private property.
surrounding area: Sands
Point is located north of Port Washington.
Lights: I know of no lights with a similar design.
information: Light was
built for $8,500. Light was sometimes called the Mitchell Lighthouse, after
the man who fought to have it constructed.
Sands Point Lighthouse
courtesy of Jim Crowley; see more of Jim's work at